Although often at the heart of the public debate, the underlying determinants of political selection and voters’ punishment of corrupt politicians remain poorly investigated. This paper contributes to our understanding of those issues by showing that places, such as Italy, where social norms are weak and trust in government is low, also feature adverse political selection and low levels of electoral punishment of corrupt politicians. Our measure of trust in government is based on the occurrence of cheating by Italian schoolteachers. We show that untrustworthiness is strongly related to both the malfeasance of local representatives and to low levels of electoral punishment of them.
Finocchiaro Castro, M., & Guccio, C. (2020). Birds of a feather flock together: trust in government, political selection and electoral punishment. Public Choice, 184(3–4), 263–287. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11127-019-00759-4